What Age Does Puppy Jumping Stop?

A woman is holding a dog in her arms while wondering how to stop adolescent puppy jumping.

Puppy parents know the journey of raising a puppy is filled with joy and a lot of adorable moments (if you are like me, you have a bunch of puppy pictures on your phone). On the flip side there are challenges and surprises along the way. One all too common challenge that puppy parents face is the persistence of exuberant puppy jumping behavior. If you are anything like the other puppy parents, you’re thinking your puppy should have grown out of this by now. It’s not uncommon for puppy parents to be frustrated and wonder why their puppy is still leaping to greet them and everyone else.

Why Does My Puppy Jump So Much?: A Natural Canine InstinctA little child embracing a puppy in the grass while parents wonder how to stop the puppy jumping behavior.

First things first, jumping is a natural dog behavior. When dog’s greet each other, they will usually sniff each other’s face, mouth, and ears. We might not be dogs, but there is still so much information a puppy can gather from sniffing our face and breath. In addition, our faces are way up high so to get a better look (or sniff) they need to jump up. No wonder puppies jump like pogo sticks.

6 Reasons Why Puppies Jump

  1. Curiosity
  2. Excitement
  3. Desire for affection
  4. To initiate play
  5. Explore
  6. Because of stress, fear or anxiety*

At What Age Do Puppies Stop Jumping?

As you are already learning with your adolescent puppy, he won’t just stop jumping up all on his own.

Puppy Jumping: Accidental Reinforcement by Humans

Here’s where the puzzle starts to come together: when a puppy jumps up and gets any form of attention, they learn that jumping gets them what they want – attention from their human. This accidental reinforcement creates a loop where the puppy associates jumping with positive outcomes- even if it’s not what we intend.

And no, your puppy doesn’t care if you are saying “no”, “stop”, “off”, or “down”. Your puppy doesn’t know what those words mean. All they know is you are talking to them and providing attention. You could be saying “banana” or “goldfish”. These words hold as much value as shouting all the words you say in order to try to communicate what you would like your puppy to do.

2 Ways to Stop Puppy Jumping?A grey weimaraner puppy is standing on a leash in a field, showcasing unwanted puppy jumping behavior.

  1. The Importance of Management Strategies

To help puppies greet people calmly, effective management strategies are key. Management involves setting up situations in which the undesired behavior is less likely to occur. For instance, using a leash, gate, or expen to prevent puppy jumping during greetings. The more your puppy practices the art of jumping, the better they get at it.

  1. Setting Everyone Up for Success

Creating a welcoming environment for calm greetings involves teaching your puppy an alternative behavior and rewarding them for it. Teach them all four paws on the floor when meeting people and reward them with treats and praise for staying grounded. This reinforces the idea that good things happen when they have all four paws on the floor.

*Note: Puppies jumping up due to fear and anxiety are a different topic and don’t fall under general puppy jumping strategies.

How Dogs Learn: The Role of Learning and Teaching

Remember, in the interaction between you and your puppy, someone is always learning, and someone is always teaching. While you might think you’re teaching your puppy not to jump (telling them off), they could be learning that jumping is fun and gets them attention. This mirrors the way us humans learn and teach – sometimes, the lessons we intend to impart are not the ones received. Intention and miscommunication can happen when interacting with any living being.

5 Ways You are Accidentally Reinforcing Puppy Jumping

  • Giving eye contact (eye contact is attention)
  • Patting your puppy when they jump up
  • Talking to your puppy while they are jumping up
  • Waving your hands around to get  your puppy down (this is a fun game for puppies)
  • Bending over to say hello (this is an invitation for them to jump up)

The One Thing You Need to do to Stop Puppy JumpingA man is holding a misbehaving, jumping, adolescent puppy.

It’s important to recognize that your puppy won’t change their behavior unless you change yours. Consistency is crucial. A routine that includes management strategies and positive reinforcement will go a long way in helping your puppy learn the desired behavior. If we want to see change and stop puppy jumping, we are the ones who make to make the changes so our puppy can learn and get it right.

Final Words on What We Think is Stubborn Puppy Jumping

Raising an adolescent puppy is a journey that requires patience, understanding. It also requires us to make changes so our puppies can be successful. Jumping up to greet people is a behavior deeply ingrained in their nature, and overcoming it takes time and consistent effort. By recognizing the underlying reasons for this behavior, implementing effective management strategies, setting up opportunities for success, and being the consistent teacher your pup needs, you can guide your puppy toward calm and controlled greetings that enhance the bond between you.

Frustrated by adolescent puppy behavior? Yes, my puppy’s ‘puppy license’ has expired and their antics are no longer cute or funny. Click here to get the help you need.